Chris Carlier

Music is Magic, Be a Wizard


Musicians spend a lot of time practicing. We drill the same tricky passages dozens or hundreds of times to master it. Then, when it comes to performance time, it seems natural – because it is! We’ve already done this over and over, behind-the-scenes, scrutinizing, tweaking, over-analyzing until it’s second nature.

When we inevitably make mistakes during a performance, we’re still tweaking and over-analyzing, so when someone comes up to us after a gig and tells us how much they enjoyed something, we’re often so busy thinking about how to perfect little things that went wrong that we miss something important: someone just took time (and probably money) out of their lives to come see us perform and was excited enough that they came and told us how much they liked it afterward – and often all we could do in response is tell them how it would have been better if we hadn’t messed up that one passage or if we could have landed the ending a little better.

What an insult to that fan! To them, they’ve just seen something incredible! They got to see you do the thing they know you for, live and in-person! Especially if that person happens not to be musically inclined, they’ve basically just seen a wizard do magic! Don’t spoil the fun with your analysis. Save that for when you’re practicing. This is your moment to enjoy the fruits of all that hard work. Lean into it. Nobody is there for your mistakes! Your fans want you to do well! Save the self-criticism for the woodshed and just bask in that feeling of doing something cool and being appreciated. And don’t forget to reverse that role when you see someone else do their thing. 😉